JSTOR Storage Project 2014


Due to space constraints at our current storage facilities and limited Stack Tower space, Woodruff Library proposes to withdraw a select number of print journal backfiles that are duplicated in the JSTOR journal archive. In addition, Emory University and Georgia Institute of Technology are working in collaboration to build a new Library Service Center. While the new facility will create needed storage capacity, the Center will not be available for use until late 2015.

To assist in the identification of the relevant titles, we are utilizing a tool from Ithaka S+R (and used by a number of other research libraries), which takes into account the number of images per journal, archival completeness, and print repository availability before deeming a print journal actionable for withdrawal.  Once we finalize our withdrawal decisions, we will check with JSTOR and the Center for Research Libraries to determine if we can contribute to their archives.  Unneeded volumes will be recycled in accordance with Emory’s dedication to sustainability efforts.

Please review the list of titles being considered for withdrawal. Please send comments regarding specific titles, or about the project in general, to SERIALS-REVIEW-WG-L@listserv.cc.emory.edu for further information or clarification. Your subject librarian will also be reviewing these titles and will be in direct contact with faculty to gain feedback and answer any questions. Any request for titles to be removed from consideration for withdrawal will be accommodated.

Please note there will be no loss of electronic access to any issues, nor any cancellations. Should the need arise for access to withdrawn print volumes, we will acquire said volumes through Interlibrary Loan. In addition, Emory is participating in the Association of Southeastern Research Library’s (ASERL) Journal Retention project (now known as the Scholars Trust), which requires us (and other members) to respectively retain and preserve print volumes of these selected journal runs. For a list of participating institutions and selected titles per institution, please go to http://www.aserl.org/programs/j-retain/. Due to our involvement in this initiative, we are able to have preferential ILL access to these print volumes being retained at other member institutions.

The deadline for review is October 31, 2014. Notices for this project will also be distributed at the beginning of the fall semester to gain the attention of faculty members that may be away from campus for the summer. We appreciate your time and assistance in this matter. Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have.

What is JSTOR?

The JSTOR (journal storage) project is a creation of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The purpose of JSTOR is to convert back issues of print journals into electronic format to save libraries space (and the capital costs associated with that space) and to enhance access to the journal content. Begun in 1995 with less than a dozen journals in economics and history, the JSTOR project has grown to over 1,000 titles in all subject areas. Emory has subscriptions to most of these archival collections (Arts and Sciences and Life Sciences).

Why do we need to withdraw anything?

Due to space constraints in our existing storage facilities and stack tower, we must review our print journal archival holdings for which we have archival electronic access.   More precisely, we must withdraw material from our HMA (High Museum)--CCF storage facility, in order to make room for materials from Clifton Storage, which is at 95% capacity.  In addition, Stacks Tower density is reaching undesirable levels.  A new Emory-Georgia Tech Library Service Center, which will create needed storage capacity, will not be online until mid-2016.

Why withdraw JSTOR and not some other content?

Woodruff library has determined that several criteria must be met prior to cancellation of a print subscription or withdrawal of print volumes:

  • The library has full-text access to the entire journal, with perpetual/post-cancellation archival access per our license.
  • The digital versions are complete, of high quality, and in formats that facilitate preservation.
  • The journal content is not heavily based on images.
  • There is sufficient print and digital backup of content and a sustainable plan to maintain it.

JSTOR is a significant collection that meets all the above requirements:

  • JSTOR digitizes every issue from cover to cover, from volume 1. The Library is committed to pay the small annual access fee that covers the ongoing costs of maintaining the collections.
  • JSTOR has a high-quality digitization process, and their electronic files and metadata are in formats that can be readily converted to newer formats as they are developed in the future.
  • JSTOR has been certified as a trusted digital repository by the Center for Research Libraries. This audit confirms that the repository is meeting best practices for the preservation of digital content.
  • The one-time "Archive Capital Fees" libraries pay to JSTOR cover the cost for preservation and migration of digital content.
  • Multiple data centers guarantee the security of the electronic content.
  • JSTOR works with institutions knowledgeable in the preservation of paper to store multiple copies of the original print publications underlying the archives so that they are available for re-digitization as well as other unanticipated needs. There are two climate-controlled paper repositories of JSTOR journals at California Digital Library and Harvard. At both locations, each issue of each journal is page-verified for completeness and efforts are ongoing to complete holdings. Content is also being stored at many regional repositories.
  • JSTOR has a process for selecting a third-party steward in the event that JSTOR should cease operations.

Will Woodruff withdraw all JSTOR titles?

No. At this time, we have identified as weeding candidates only those titles that are adequately preserved both digitally and in print and that contain few images. We've used the What to Withdraw Print Collections Decision-Support  tool developed by ITHAKA, to identify likely candidates based on preservation status and image-to-page ratio. Every title on our list of withdrawal candidates meets the following criteria:

  • Both page-verified print repositories, Harvard and UC archives, must have over 95% of the total number of issues. 
  • Journal averages less than one image per twenty pages.

In addition, Emory is participating in the Association of Southeastern Research Library’s (ASERL) Journal Retention project, which requires us to maintain print volumes of selected journal runs (even if they are in the JSTOR archive).  For a list of participating institutions and selected titles, please go to http://www.aserl.org/programs/j-retain/.  We are able to have preferential ILL access to these print volumes.

How can we be sure that we will always have access to the electronic archive of JSTOR titles?

JSTOR is a collaborative preservation project by libraries and the Mellon Foundation. All participating libraries contribute funds through archive fees for preservation of the digital record. JSTOR is considered the most stable of any electronic archive.

What will happen to Woodruff Library’s current subscriptions to JSTOR journals?
The withdrawal plan does not affect current subscriptions. Also, for withdrawn print titles, you may still depend on Interlibrary Loan.

What will the library do with the withdrawn journals?

We will check with JSTOR and the Center for Research Libraries to determine if we can contribute to their archives. Again, unneeded volumes will be recycled in accordance with Emory’s dedication to sustainability efforts.